TABLE 1-1 Reference Heights and Weights for Children and Adults in the United Statesa

Gender

Age

Median Body Mass Index, kg/m2

Reference Height, cm (in)

Reference Weight,b kg (lb)

Male, female

2–6 mo

64 (25)

7 (16)

 

7–12 mo

72 (28)

9 (20)

 

1–3 y

91 (36)

13 (29)

 

4–8 y

15.8

118 (46)

22 (48)

Male

9–13 y

18.5

147 (58)

40 (88)

 

14–18 y

21.3

174 (68)

64 (142)

 

19–30 y

24.4

176 (69)

76 (166)

Female

9–13 y

18.3

148 (58)

40 (88)

 

14–18 y

21.3

163 (64)

57 (125)

 

19–30 y

22.8

163 (64)

61 (133)

a Adapted from NHANES III, 1988–1994.

b Calculated from body mass index and height for ages 4 through 8 and older.

The median heights for the life stage and gender groups through age 30 were identified, and the median weights for these heights were based on reported median Body Mass Index (BMI) for the same individuals. Since there is no evidence that weight should change as adults age if activity is maintained, the reference weights for adults ages 19 through 30 years are applied to all adult age groups.

The most recent nationally representative data available for Canadians (from the 1970–1972 Nutrition Canada Survey [Demirjian, 1980]) were reviewed. In general, median heights of children from 1 year of age in the United States were greater by 3 to 8 cm (1 to 2 1/2 inches) than those of children of the same age in Canada measured two decades earlier (Demirjian, 1980). This could be explained partly by approximations necessary to compare the two data sets, but more likely by a continuation of the secular trend of increased heights for age noted in the Nutrition Canada Survey when it compared data from that survey with an earlier (1953) national Canadian survey (Pett and Ogilvie, 1956).

Similarly, median weights beyond age 1 year derived from the recent survey in the United States (NHANES III, 1988–1994) were also greater than those obtained from the older Canadian survey (Demirjian, 1980). Differences were greatest during adolescence—from 10 to 17 percent higher. The differences probably reflect the



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